Glimpses - Beth Saida, A City Dormant

Once a large vibrant Jewish fishing community, the ancient city of Beth Saida lies in ruins today. The ravages of Gentile invasions and general neglect by the occupiers have allowed the city to be overgrown. In addition, the River Jordan which flows through the Beth Saida Valley into Lake Kinneret, at its northern end, has caused the build up of sediment, over the centuries, to turn much of the area into marsh and lagoons. Some twenty species of fish have been identified.

Some two thousand years ago, Beth Saida was a major port and contributor to the fishing industry, which sustained the Jewish communities established around the Lake and beyond. Moreover, Beth Saida was the home to three of the twelve closest disciples of Yeshua the Messiah, including Shimon the Rock (Simon Peter, the Apostle), and his brother Andrew, and Philip.

Many miracles were performed in and around Beth Saida. "And the apostles, when they had returned, told Him all that they had done. Then He took them and went aside privately into a deserted place belonging to the city of Bethsaida. But when the multitudes knew it, they followed Him; and He received them and spoke with them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who had need of healing." (Luke 9:10-11) It was also here that Yeshua the Messiah fed five thousand people with just two loaves and five fish. (Luke 9:12-17)

Today, the city waits patiently to be rebuilt according to the promise, "'I will bring back the captives of My people Israel; they shall build the waste cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them; they shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them. I will plant them in their land, and no longer shall they be pulled up from the land I have given them, ' says the LORD your God." (Amos 9:14-15)

Mark Warren